Faculty in the Wildlife Biology Program lead active research programs addressing questions related to the wildlife ecology, population dynamics, conservation of wildlife, and management of anthropogenic effects on wildlife. Graduate and undergraduate students actively participate in research projects providing excellent experience from future careers in wildlife biology. The extensive and diverse wildlife populations in Montana provide an excellent study site for many projects, but the Wildlife Biology Program’s scope of research is truly global in nature.



Idaho Fish and Game Highlights Wildlife Biology Student Research

PhD student Elizabeth Painter is featured in this new Idaho Fish and Game-produced video, which describes her part in a complex, multi-year study of big game species in northern Idaho.
Deer on webcam

UM Wildlife

Did you catch KPAX’s recent segment of *A Wilder View*? It features the story of UM Wildlife Biology graduate student, Chris Hansen, and his research investigating human impacts on wildlife.
Rachel Sprague

Alumna Rachel Sprague on Managing a 140-Square-Mile Hawaiian Island

University of Montana Wildlife Biology alumna Dr. Rachel Sprague is the director of conservation for Pūlama Lānaʻi, a private land management company on the island of Lāna’i in the Hawaiian archipelago.

Faculty Research Labs

  • avian science center

    Avian Science Center - Victoria Dreitz

    Promoting informed decision making based on ecological research – the collection, synthesis, and communication of knowledge about birds and their ecosystems – for conservation of natural resources.

  • Cheviron Lab

    Cheviron Lab - Zac Cheviron

    We are a group of integrative organismal biologists working at the interface of ecophysiology, evolutionary genomics, and systems biology. As an academic research lab, we are in the business of generating and disseminating new knowledge about the natural world.

  • conservation ecology & research lab

    Conservation Ecology & Research Lab - Jedediah Brodie

    Research with a focus on mammal population ecology, landscape connectivity, and species interactions, mostly in the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia, particularly Borneo, where Brodie studies the meta-community of mammals living in increasingly altered habitats as well as the ecological importance of species interactions involving mammals.

  • Fish & Wildlife Genetics

    Fish & Wildlife Genetics - Gordon Luikart

    Genetics contributes in many ways that were unimaginable only a few years ago. In this "age of genomics," there is perhaps no area of science with more potential to improve both nature conservation and the economy or human well-being.

    Luikart is at the Flathead Lake Biological Station

  • Human Dimensions Lab

    Human Dimensions Lab - Alex Metcalf and Libby Metcalf

    We are fundamentally interested in how people interact with the natural world and how these human dimensions influence and inform natural resource management decisions.

  • Hutto Lab

    Hutto Lab - Richard Hutto (emeritus)

    Research on avian ecology, especially in conifer forests that have been restored by severe wildfires.

  • Lowe Lab

    Lowe Lab - Winsor Lowe

    Research on how spatial processes influence evolution, population biology, and community ecology.

  • Mountain range

    Maron Lab - John Maron

    Research on plant population and community ecology, ranging from invasion biology to plant-consumer interactions to food web ecology.

  • scott mills picture

    Mills Lab - Scott Mills

    Our research group integrates field studies, molecular and population genetics, and quantitative modeling tools to understand how wild animal populations — and their associated communities and ecosystems — respond to human-caused global changes. We work with a wide range of species and ecosystems around the world.

  • sells stream

    Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit - Thomas Martin

    Research on understanding the ecology and evolution of phenotypic traits that are also important to conservation. Birds are used for tests because behaviors and fitness components can be readily measured and they are widespread across habitats and ecosystems.

  • National Genomics Center

    National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation - Mike Schwartz

    Part of the Rocky Mountain Research Station's Conservation Genetics Program, the Wildlife Genetics Lab works with states, tribes, universities and private groups answering state-of-the-art questions in wildlife genetics, and providing answers to pressing wildlife management needs.

  • population and disease ecology lab

    Population & Disease Ecology Lab - Angie Luis

    Research at the intersection of population, community and disease ecology, with particular focus on the importance of host ecology in determining disease dynamics in wildlife.

  • ungulate ecology lab

    Ungulate Ecology Lab - Mark Hebblewhite

    Research for understanding 1) how wildlife such as ungulate herbivores balance the costs of predation with the benefits of foraging, and 2) how human activities influence this balance, and the ensuing conservation and management consequences to wildlife population dynamics.